A GODSON of Prince of Wales and a direct descendant of a Russian tsar are planning to build an environmentally-friendly hydro electric power plant in a national park.

Edward van Cutsem, who was a page boy at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, has applied to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Environment Agency to divert nearly eight million cubic metres of water a year from Mossdale Gill.

Mr van Cutsem, whose family owns the 4,500-acre Mossdale shooting estate, near Hawes, hopes to launch the low-impact venture with his wife, Lady Tamara, whose four times great grandfathers include Russian author Alexander Pushkin and Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.

The other partners in the Upper Wensleydale scheme are investment banker Matteo Ferrario, a managing director of Barclays Capital, and his wife, Stephanie, who launched the Give A Future Foundation to support Ethiopian children.

The proposed plant, beside waterfalls overlooking Thwaite Bridge, would see the building of a concrete weir faced with local stone and covered with boulders, a buried pipeline, a bridge and a semi-buried powerhouse.

The powerhouse would feature a crossflow water turbine, generating up to 100KW, sufficient to power up to 100 homes.

All the water abstracted would be discharged back to Mossdale Gill, which feeds the River Ure.

The scheme would be within the shooting estate, near where Mr Cutsem’s elderly father, Hugh, was found huddled against a stone wall by mountain rescue teams in 2010, 20 hours after getting lost on a walk.

The green venture has received backing from local residents, including Upper Dales councillor John Blackie, who said the renewable energy plant would hardly be visible.

Colin Speakman, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Society, said: “We are in favour of hydro schemes if they are done well and fit in with minimal impact.”

An agent for Mossdale Partnership said power generated from the plant would be exported to the grid.

He said: “It would save approximately 210 tonnes of Co2 emissions should this amount of power be generated by conventional power stations.

"All aspects of the scheme, not least its layout and the selection of designs have been selected to minimise the impact, in accordance with our client’s wishes."